Latest news and upcoming events from across the network
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The UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres brings together over 60 of the nation's major science engagement organisations, who together reach 20 million people each year

Welcome to the new ASDC newsletter

Every month we'll be highlighting interesting updates, developments and opportunities for science engagement professionals across the UK.

This Month:


This Month's Top Stories

ASDC National Conference 2014: Registrations now open

24 September, The Royal Society, London

ASDC returns to London for it's lively one-day national conference, bringing together professionals from across the fields of science engagement, communication, policy and more.

This year's keynote speech will be delivered by the Rt Honourable David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science.

Other speakers include:

  • Clare Matterson - Director, Medical Humanities and Engagement at the Wellcome Trust
  • Professor Justin Dillon - Professor of science and environmental education, King's College London
  • Professor Louise Archer - Department of Education and Professional Studies, King's College London
  • Professor John Womersley - Chief Executive, Science and Technology Facilities Council
The dynamic and fast-paced Pecha Kucha returns once more, so if you'd like to share your innovative programmes targeted at reaching under-represented audiences, then you can apply for a spot in this session, too.

The ASDC AGM and a gala dinner will be held the night before. 

Early bird prices start at £129 for members. Booking and full details are available on our website below.


Reminder to contribute to Government's consultation on science capital investment

Deadline 4 July

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) are carrying out a consultation on long-term investment in science and research. Based on this they are going to produce a road map for investment.

ASDC has been very busy representing the sector to ministers and civil servants and are pleased that they have taken on board some of our recommendations.

One of the strands that they have included is on public engagement. "It is important to build on public interest and build public understanding of, and engagement with, science. The Government is interested in exploring innovative ways to do more of all of this, building on and better utilising existing science engagement infrastructure to inspire, engage and involve the public in scientific research and development." on page 52 in the consultation document. They propose an 'Inspiring Science' Capital fund for those who can't access other capital funding, to a total of £22 million.

Our full response will have been sent to your CEO and Network Reps and is on our website - you are welcome to use this to help with your response.
The deadline is 4 July 2014. We would encourage you check your organisation is responding in time and to ask anyone who supports the work of science centres to submit a short response (including board members, MPs and others). Details are on our website below.


The Royal Society's Vision for Science and Mathematics Education

"Science and mathematics are at the heart of modern life and provide the foundations for economic prosperity."

The Royal Society last week set out it's 20 year vision for science and mathematics education in the UK across a number of areas including curriculum stability, the teaching profession, judging the success of education, and the role of STEM professional community, among others.

The report concludes "This Vision has been produced to help encourage transformation of UK science and mathematics education over the next 20 
years. Its publication should be viewed as a spur to encourage national debate. Positive action is required, and should be taken soon, if the UK is to remain at the forefront of scientific and technological advances and continue to have an internationally competitive workforce"

For full details and to download the report visit the link below.


Royal Society of Chemistry announces new outreach fund

The Royal Science of Chemisty has recently announced a new outreach fund that is open to a range of organisations to raise awareness of chemistry's place in peoples' every day lives, focussing on groups who are currently under-served, as well as to provide science communication training for chemists.

There are three categories of grants available: 

  • Small Grant Scheme - up to £2,000 
  • Medium Grant Scheme - between £2,000 and £10,000
  • Large Grant Scheme - between £10,000 and £50,000

The next deadline for applications to the Small Grant Scheme is 31 July 2014.

The Medium and Large Grant Schemes are not yet open for applications.

To find out how to apply and to sign up to notifications follow the link below.


RAS200: Sky and Earth. Royal Astronomical Society Announces £1m outreach fund to support astronomy and geophysics projects 

To celebrate the Royal Astronomical Society's bicentennial in 2020, the Royal Astronomical Society has announced that it seeks to support a number of projects to 'create a buzz' around astronomy and geophysics with the public, including understanding, discussion, and dialogue – in diverse sections of the community.

The society's aims for these are to have lasting impact, go where outreach has never gone before, and harness the shared ambitions of world-leading researchers and national, local and community organisations.

They are holding a Stakeholder Meeting on 16th July 2014 to present more about the project, and this will be followed by a series of regional 'speed-dating' events across the UK in the autumn of 2014. For more information visit the link below.


DEADLINE EXTENDED: Royal Society Young People's Book Prize 2014 - call for science centres to host events

Each year the Royal society runs its Young People's Book Prize. The Prize celebrates the best science books written for the under-14s and aims to inspire children to read about science.
As in previous year, they want to hold fabulous events across the UK to celebrate the books shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2014, encouraging young people to read and enjoy science books. These will complement the event at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in London. Last year events were run by Jodrell Bank, Eureka and Techniquest. All events will be supported by the Royal Society.
In addition, they are seeking a venue in which to hold the prestigious award ceremony in November 2014.
The closing date is Friday 19 July 2014. 
If you are interested in either of these opportunities the person to contact is:
David Chapman
Events Officer, Public Engagement
T +44 20 7451 2254 


Government response to Select Committee report on communicating climate science 

Last week the Government issued its response to the Science and Technology Select Committees report on Communicating Climate Science, that ASDC submitted evidence for.

The select committee's report set out a number of recommendations for the Government to form more consistent messages around climate science, and importance of reaching a general, non-specialist audience.

The response sets out some developments that will be useful to all those communicating climate science, e.g. through 'establishing a science expert communications group to consider how best to further improve the communication of climate science.' Which may have useful areas for our members to contribute, and outputs to utilise.

The response also reiterated that 'the ‘messenger matters’ and 'ultimately public engagement on climate change is not just about providing individuals with scientific information. It is about allowing individuals to understand how climate change is relevant to them and what they can do in their day-to-day lives to address it.' - something our network can play a key role in.

The Government did not respond to recommendations related to media and other independent bodies. The full response is available through the link below.


Nominations now open for the Women in Science and Engineering Awards 2014

This years awards, which celebrate female talent in science, technology and engineering from classroom to boardroom, cover three categories: role models inspiring the next generation, teachers, careers advisers and recruitment campaigns for growing the talent pipeline, and employers, leaders and champions who are making a difference to the position of women in their organisation or sector.

The black-tie awards ceremony on 13 November 2014 at Grange Hotel Tower Bridge, London, will be pre-ceeded by workshops and knowledge sharing sessions.

To find out how to nominate and book your tickets for the event follow the link below.


Apply now for a 2015 Travelling Fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

Are you involved in Science, Technology and Innovation? In particular, do you work in the communication of science and technology? Are you interested in new ways to encourage interest and participation in science by the public, including via internet dialogues?

Are you interested in the fusion of the arts and science?

If so, have you thought of applying for a Churchill Travelling Fellowship?

In 2015 we will be investing £1.2 million in British citizens, by awarding a record number of 150 Travelling Fellowships, in order to mark our 50th anniversary. We send people from all walks of life, and every corner of the UK, on an overseas travel sabbatical. Would you or someone you know, benefit from this experience?

Application deadline: 5pm on 23rd September 2014


Who is in for an international adventure on LIGHT?

The French science centre CAP SCIENCES is building an international network of projects (exhibitions, videos, initiatives, performances, workshops, conferences, games, articles...  on sites, online and apps) on the theme of LIGHT to share and increase cultural opportunities for the general public and specific audiences in 2015 and 2016. They have released a document detailing their idea, which you can read here.

Would you like to join? What could be shared and do together on the theme of LIGHT?

A LinkedIn group called LIGHT project 2015-2016 has been set up for interested parties to get involved, make connections, stimulate collaborations, share material, and promote opportunities, to support the public in all countries to benefit from much richer experiences on sites and online.

Contact Nathalie Caplet (CAP SCIENCES) for more information.

Latest results from TALIS

The latest Teaching And Learning International Survey (TALIS) from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was published yesterday. The survey is made up of a representative sample of teachers and schools in 34 countries on their working conditions and learning environments.
There is some interesting data on the amount of CPD that teachers in England do, as well as data on how appreciated teachers feel. 


Inspiring Science Education: Education resources and free workshop

The Inspiring Science Education (ISE) Programme is a Europe-wide programme aimed at teachers and other educators to attract youngsters to the world of scientific discoveries, natural and scientific phenomena, and much more, by providing them with access to the latest, interactive tools and digital resources.

The UK coordinators (The Cardiff University School of Physics and Astronomy) are developing and disseminating resources and learning scenarios along with their European partners that encourage inquiry-based learning.

There will be a free workshop on 16th July in Cardiff. To find out how to attend, visit the website.


Free engineering careers resources

Tomorrows Engineers is an initiative by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Physics, Institution of Civil Engineers and Institution of Electrical Engineers to develop a programme of careers resources that provide clear, consistent guidance for young people aged between 9 - 18 and their teachers.
They are offering a host of materials that are relevant to under 16 year olds and 15-18 year olds, as well as information for parents and teachers that we have produced in line with promoting engineering and a career in the industry.

If you are interested in ordering any of these materials free of charge, follow the link below.


Wellcome Trust: Science Learning Plus

Deadline 10 July

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) public engagement large awards 

Deadline 6 November

ASDC Events

ASDC Annual Conference 2014

24 September, Royal Society, London

We are delighted to announce that bookings are now open for the 2014 ASDC National Conference at The Royal Society On Wednesday September 24th 2014.

We also invite you to the Conference Dinner and the ASDC AGM at the Royal Society on Tuesday 23rd September. 


Other Events

Royal Society Summer Exhibition 2014

1-6 July, Royal Society, London

The Summer Science Exhibition is an annual display of the most exciting cutting-edge science and technology in the UK.

Free entry for all ages.


Open Evening for Public Engagement with Science MSc

10 July, Centre for Life, Newcastle

The International Centre for Life have partnered with Northumbria to offer a Masters in Public Engagement with Science. The course starts this September based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

To allow those interested to find out more they are offering open evening at the Centre for Life. The evening will include a full course overview, science demo, Q&A and tour. For full details and to register visit the link below.



Moving beyond an arts-based conceptualisation of cultural capital? Debating the concept of 'science capital'

10 July, Science Museum, London

From 09:30 to 15:30 this seminar brings together international experts from diverse fields to discuss the limits and possibilities of Pierre Bourdieu's concept of cultural capital. In particular, the seminar asks whether Bourdieu's heavily arts-based conceptualisation of cultural capital sufficiently captures scientific, mathematical and technical forms of capital, which tend to command a high symbolic value in contemporary society, and are associated with a wage premium in the labour market and high social status?

The seminar will attempt to discuss the possibilities and limitations of extending Bourdieu's original conceptualisation to encompass forms of scientific, mathematical and technical forms of capital.


The BIG Event

23-25 July, Oxford University Museum of Natural History

The final programme for the BIG Event 2014 is now available to view here: BIG Event 2014.

There are a handful of places left, starting at just £110 for a day which includes annual membership of BIG for a whole twelve months. This two-day event includes:
  • A keynote from Steve Crabtree, the Editor of BBC Horizon
  • Sessions for Science Presenters including practical behaviour management strategies, how to step on stage with presence, voice and presentation skills
  • How to programme a science festival
  • The biggest lies in sci-comm
  • Science for all ages including SEN, early years and teens.
  • Surgeries in Evaluation, Freelancing, Funding, Working with Researchers
  • A chance to network with the movers and shakers in the Sci Comm industry - and meet up with old and new friends.

... and of course the annual Best Demo competition. Can the UK reclaim the trophy this year?


What’s so Special about STEM? Free conference on transition for disabled STEM students 

11 July, University of Greenwich

Wrexham Science Festival 2014 - call for contributors 

17-25 July, Wrexham
Please contact Dawn Pavey.

British Science Festival

6-11 September, Birmingham

Association of Science - Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference

18-21 October, Raleigh, North Carolina (United States)

PR Manager (Science and Engineering)

Queen Mary University of London
Deadline: 6 July

Learning and Access Manager

Birmingham Museums Trust
Deadline: 7 July

Project Manager

National Schools Observatory
Deadline: 7 July

Press Office Assistant

Science Media Centre
Deadline: 7 July

Communications Officer

Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 
Deadline: 11 July

Business Manager

Guerilla Science
Deadline: 16 July

STEM Communicator

Science Made Simple
Deadline: 18 July

Professor for Science Communication

The Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences
Deadline: 31 July
Looking to recruit someone? Want to attract as wide a pool of candidates as possible? Send us details. On average the job opportunities listed attract a large proportion of the click-throughs from the newsletter, which is sent out to a broad range of professionals working in and with the science engagement sector.
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